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I have been thinking about this a lot lately too. I currently don't charge anything to do a giveaway. For some smaller giveaway items, I will have the company send me the product to review in addition to the giveaway and then have them ship the winner the item when the giveaway is over so I don't have to deal with shipping.
But the amount of work that goes into a giveaway can be crazy! I recently had a Giveaway Bash. It took hours of posting, gathering info, emailing back & forth with sponsors, and then promoting - LOTS of promoting, submitting, etc. I am not sure if it is protocol to charge something. How are you all doing it? How about if they are not going to send me the specific product to review then there will be a certain charge? I am still working it out. The problem is, I sometimes have very large giveaway prizes and I can't expect them to send that to me.
I would love to hear how some of you are handling your giveaway & sponsoring. I am fairly new to giveaways within the past few months. But now that I am offering giveaways, people are contacting me left & right. I am just not sure if I have the time to put into it without being compensated. What are your thoughts?
For smaller companies like myself, I would not pay a fee to have a site do a giveaway. The main reason is it is unfair for me to lose the merchandise and pay a fee on top of that! I haven't had a site charge me yet. I have heard of sites charging for product reviews because you are actually working up a written review. I read a fantastic article the other day(wish I saved the link now) that said giveaways are great to drive traffic to your site. Maybe you can find a way to make it an easier process like don't have them ship you the item. Post your giveaway info and pics from their site. And tell them it's their responsibility to send the item to the winner.
I don't charge companies to host giveaways. It's a lot of work, but "my moms" love winning and I enjoy introducing them to relevant, new products. (I don't have a problem with bloggers who do charge though - it does take time, energy & money to host giveaways on your blog.)
Having said that, my postage bills were crazy last year, so I'm having more and more sponsors ship directly to the winners.
I do charge for giveaways. It became so overwhelming and well, sorta spammy with all the giveaways that I decided I had had enough. If a company wants me to set the giveaway up, promote it, choose a winner, email them, send their info to the company, then notify them that their item has been shipped or check to see why it hasn't been shipped....then I figured my time is worth a little something.
Giveaways are a great deal of work and frankly, the traffic is not worth it to me, especially if that's the only reason they come around. My time is precious. Every single minute I'm on the computer,means time away from my family so it better be worth it;) Just my 2 cents.
Awesome! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who said, "Listen, these giveaways are a pain in the "you know what" and companies need to pay up!" Maybe you can drive this point home at Blissdom so more moms understand they can charge for such a tedious task.
I've never charged for giveaways although I have stopped doing as many as I used to because yes, they are a lot of work and most times they don't add value to my blog (IE they are off topic). The traffic is nice to see, but I know it's just temporary so...
I may charge at some point in time as I do see the value there but at the same time I really want to support the smaller mom run businesses who might not be able to afford a fee. I suppose it could be something I deal with on a case by case basis. Great thread - lots to consider!
I have not done charged for any of my giveaways but only because I've gone to all my sponsors directly. So far I haven't had anyone contact me about doing one, but when I do I will remember this. Does anyone ask for payment and one of the products to keep? I find it hard to to a giveaway and not be able to describe the product in first person. I certainly wouldn't expect to keep something really expensive though.
I have been considering changing my policy on this. I do not currently charge, but I do LOTS of giveaways. I always request that they mail the product to the winner, but it is STILL time consuming. I agree with those who said that the traffic it brings is temporary and not necessarily "quality traffic" -- by that I mean people who are really interested in me and my blog and plan to stay around and be a part of the community. THAT is the kind of traffic I'm looking to grow, not the giveaway traffic.
However, I continue to do regular giveaways because I feel like it's my way of treating my readers. I often give extra entries to those who are subscribers and who blog or twitter about it, in an effort to "reward" the more loyal visitors.
That said, it is not presumptuous to expect to be paid for the time and effort we bloggers put into these giveaways. We get nothing out of it but a temporary spike in traffic (and the joy of seeing people get excited about winning) so in essence, companies are getting free advertising (a product sample* is nothing compared to advertising costs) and the benefit of my readership that I have grown through authenticity and vulnerability.
*I realize it depends on the business -- small mom-run businesses feel it harder than bigger corporations.
I am interested to read Lori's advertising policy.
Then there is the issue of review items -- another can of worms.
I would never, ever, ever charge to do a giveaway.
While giveaways are tedious and take time, they bring in traffic that may otherwise never see your blog, allowing you to up ad prices, exposure, and be an integral part of the online community. I have had many companies thank me and pay it forward in lots of ways. Additionally, I have had visitors that have made it clear they never would have discovered my blog if not for an advertised giveaway or link they clicked on.
For us, giveaways are not just a temporary spike in traffic, but a reward to our visitors, and an ongoing relationship with a company we may utilize in the future for things like BloggersGive.com. Many companies also find out our worth during the giveaway and return for paid advertising and consulting.
To me, charging for a giveaway is the same as if the company charged me for the traffic I received from it.
I respectfully disagree. Sponsored giveaways are no different than paid advertisements, in my opinion, and in that respect will not destroy the integrity of the blogosphere. If a company wants coverage on my sites and blogs via a giveaway they have to pay for that coverage. That's not talking about reviews, though. I do not charge for product reviews.
There is no question that giveaways up traffic, but I don't want drive-by traffic because of a giveaway. After seeing the quality of giveaways that we have done companies have also come back and scheduled giveaways for the future, but we were also compensated for a service. Conducting giveaways is like any other service that a company provides. I believe moms should be paid for services rendered and not rely on the possibility of companies coming back.